Consciousness

Do you have a conversation topic that doesn't seem to fit any of the other conversations? Here is where we discuss ANYTHING about Joseph Campbell, comparative mythology, and more!

Moderators: Clemsy, Martin_Weyers, Cindy B.

Locked
JamesN.
Associate
Posts: 2187
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:46 am
Location: Nashville, Tn.

Post by JamesN. » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:28 am

Ron I am no psychologist; but I believe your further efforts at restructuring already academically recognized mental processes will begin to drift into Sigmund Freud territory among others; (i.e. Ego and the Id for example); and will really start to widen out from there. (Herding cats may be one way of looking at this.) Perhaps I am misunderstanding your intent; but that's opening a very large can of worms that's way out of my layman's area of knowledge. And although this may or may not provide the answers to what you may be seeking; it may also prove to be more of an exercise in frustration than it's worth. Of course I'm just guessing as to your possible course of inquiry and pursuit and whatever that direction may be is certainly up to you.

(These links for some reason only provide partial access to their information within this forum format as listed; but you may be able to get the complete information by clicking on the same heading category once inside.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_(philosophy)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volition_(psychology)

(This one seems fine.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmund_Freud


So Ron, before we go any further I would highly suggest looking at these maps Cindy provided in the link below; as well as going through the Lexicon in more detail if you have not already before "remaking the map" as it were. The impression I got from your post in the scrambling and mixing of these concepts in a somewhat loose fashion I don't think works very well within this particular paradigm; at least IMHO. I think one needs to be very careful of the clarity and definitions used within this particular idiom because it's very easy to be misunderstood incorrectly in both content as well as context; not to mention tone; especially by others reading these posts who may not be so versed in this kind of terminology. Within reason should be the rule of course; but that's be just me. I'm not implying that what you were saying was necessarily incorrect or out of line in any way; but more than once as I have mentioned before because of the nature of this subject matter my lack of understanding of the material has cause me embarrassment when I learned what I had previously thought or assumed was incorrect. We all struggle to understand this stuff; and sure sometimes when I go back and look at some of my earlier posts I am not very pleased to say the least; such is the price of having an inquiring mind. But in your earlier post request when you when you first asked for a professional analyst to help with whether your impressions were correct or not I might suggest that many of the answers you seek may already be here if you will go back and revisit Cindy's material she has so painstakingly put together for this very reason. Perhaps you may or may not agree with her views; that is up to you of course. But I will just suggest that I don't think you will find a more knowledgeable source on these forums as a place to start; and with the added bonus of fully understanding how Joseph Campbell's themes and ideas are complimented from within this paradygm. ( Also I will try to stay on topic since there has already been one mention of this from both Clemsy and Cindy.)


With that in mind I'll just add the following that I hope will be of some extra help in clarifying some of the above. Please note her descriptions in the section below that go along with her illustrations. (Unfortunately these maps would not transfer the illustrations over here so use of this link will have to do.) As to the concept of "the will"; also interpreted by some as (volition); and is seen as connected more to philosophy; I'm not sure this is going to fit within this structure in the way you are attempting. Also there is much more included within the Jungian cosmology that has not yet been covered that is related directly to these ideas that must be addressed before fully encompassing Carl Jung's views on this subject. For instance: The Self, the Ego, the Persona, the Shadow, the Anima/Animus, Complexes, Dreams, the Archetype and Archetypal Image, the Personal and Objective Psyche; the 4 states of the Conscious and Unconscious as well as the various Mental Conditions that are arranged within a specific ordered context and operate within a very precise inter-related field of Psychological address. At least this is the way I have come to understand it.




I can't speak for others but this map of "Jungian Models of the Psyche" she provided was extremely helpful for me in getting some type of handle on Jung's ideas. (Also note the "extra" link maps she provided within this post for additional psyche maps that are also helpful.)

Here is Cindy's link:



http://www.jcf.org/new/forum/viewtopic. ... 0551#90551


Cindy:
Jung 1935* Legend:

A to A: Threshold of Consciousness
B: External World
C: "Shadow World" (i.e., Unconsciousness, personal and collective)
D: Area of Consciousness


Conic Structure* Legend:

Bottom to top: Deepest part of the Collective Unconscious that can never be made conscious. Collective Unconscious. Personal Unconscious. Consciousness. Ego.

In the end I think this quote of hers best sums up the point she is trying to make as to which road one takes in choosing their own path.


Cindy:
So to those of you seeking psychospiritual growth, note that the Western path is as equally meaningful and valuable as the Eastern path, and should you find that this way most speaks to you, do follow it. At the same time, should you find that traditional Eastern insights resonate with you, be creative on your own behalf and discover that way which best enables you to incorporate a bit of East into your West. As many pathways exist as there are people in the world to journey along them, and no one can better know than you which path to take and how to travel it.

Happy Journeying!

Namaste :)

______________________________________________________________________


Addendum: As it was late at night when posting into the wee hours of the morning I left a few things out. So this morning they were added in hopes of obtaining at least a little better clarity in a humble attempt at a very deep and complex subject.
Last edited by JamesN. on Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
Roncooper
Associate
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:51 pm
Location: Eastern Tennessee

Post by Roncooper » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:19 pm

James,

Thanks again for all of the information.

I give each of the functions their own dimension so that they can have their own world, or sphere of influence. There is an emotional world of loving and caring that is part of our society. There is also a sensual world of artistic creativity, and these are populated by people with the appropriate dominant function.

People with similar dominant functions have created institutions to teach the wisdom of that function. Buddhism teaches the way of intuition. Science teaches the way of the intellect. Athletics teaches the way of willful competition.

When I look at human reality through the lens of these functions it starts to make sense. What looks like isolated historical chapters start looking like a coherent evolutionary development.

For example religions like the Old Testament can be seen as the civilization of the will. They teach the physically powerful how to behave. Religions like the New Testament give us the emotional path of love. From Greece the intellectual path evolved, and Hinduism and Buddhism gave us the intuitive path.

Art has always been around, but it was not until it could appeal to large audiences that it gained the ability to stand on its own. The early artistic geniuses survived at the whim of the powerful. Today, with mass media, they do better.

These internal functions were like the buds that branched into the diverse human society we have today. Old outdated views that no longer functions weren't wrong or stupid, they were early attempts that need to be updated.

This is the first time in history that all of the functions can be rightly represented. We need to learn the wisdom from each.

The intellectuals shouldn't condemn the other paths, they should help make them reasonable. The emotional shouldn't condemn the warrior, they should make sure he honors love, etc.

For me this is the way forward. This is the source for a new mythology of diversity.

Anyway, this is where I am coming from, and I don't think that saying intellect is opposed to emotion, or intuition is opposed to sensuality is accurate or useful.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
JamesN.
Associate
Posts: 2187
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:46 am
Location: Nashville, Tn.

Post by JamesN. » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:47 pm

Ron I have added more to the previous entry while you were engaged in posting so please forgive the late revision. I would again humbly suggest viewing the "Jungian Models of the Psyche" maps before going any further because these various models will help by providing the visual images that aid in the understanding of the geographic landscape out of which the above categories inter-relate. I also want to make clear that I very much respect your personal interpretations and in no way mean to seem disrespectful of them. Each of us must find our own way of course; and if what you are already doing works for you that is all anyone can ask. I certainly wish you all the best with much luck and highest regards in your endeavors on whatever path you choose to follow. :)

http://www.jcf.org/new/forum/viewtopic. ... 0551#90551


Namaste
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
Roncooper
Associate
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:51 pm
Location: Eastern Tennessee

Post by Roncooper » Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:05 am

So be it.

I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of silent Buddhas, those who do not speak and those who are not heard.

The first type comes from the will of the self and the second from the will of the Self.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
User avatar
romansh
Associate
Posts: 2277
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:25 am
Location: In the woods, BC, near US border
Contact:

Post by romansh » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:55 am

Dan Dennett on consciousness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjbWr3ODbAo
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
Roncooper
Associate
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:51 pm
Location: Eastern Tennessee

Post by Roncooper » Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:09 am

He confuses consciousness with thought. It isn't about seeing flashing patterns. It is about seeing intuitively, which can take an hour or a month.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
JamesN.
Associate
Posts: 2187
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:46 am
Location: Nashville, Tn.

Post by JamesN. » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:19 am

Roncooper wrote:James,

Thanks again for all of the information.

I give each of the functions their own dimension so that they can have their own world, or sphere of influence. There is an emotional world of loving and caring that is part of our society. There is also a sensual world of artistic creativity, and these are populated by people with the appropriate dominant function.

People with similar dominant functions have created institutions to teach the wisdom of that function. Buddhism teaches the way of intuition. Science teaches the way of the intellect. Athletics teaches the way of willful competition.

When I look at human reality through the lens of these functions it starts to make sense. What looks like isolated historical chapters start looking like a coherent evolutionary development.

For example religions like the Old Testament can be seen as the civilization of the will. They teach the physically powerful how to behave. Religions like the New Testament give us the emotional path of love. From Greece the intellectual path evolved, and Hinduism and Buddhism gave us the intuitive path.

Art has always been around, but it was not until it could appeal to large audiences that it gained the ability to stand on its own. The early artistic geniuses survived at the whim of the powerful. Today, with mass media, they do better.

These internal functions were like the buds that branched into the diverse human society we have today. Old outdated views that no longer functions weren't wrong or stupid, they were early attempts that need to be updated.

This is the first time in history that all of the functions can be rightly represented. We need to learn the wisdom from each.

The intellectuals shouldn't condemn the other paths, they should help make them reasonable. The emotional shouldn't condemn the warrior, they should make sure he honors love, etc.

For me this is the way forward. This is the source for a new mythology of diversity.

Anyway, this is where I am coming from, and I don't think that saying intellect is opposed to emotion, or intuition is opposed to sensuality is accurate or useful.

Ron; I mean no disrespect but you do realize that what I was saying was that all of your re-visioning of Jung's 4-Functions completely omit's the fact that the 4-Functions are only a function that serves as just one component of a much larger inter-dependant framework; none of which as far as I can tell you have addressed. The individual subjects I am talking about are:

I said:
The Self, the Ego, the Persona, the Shadow, the Anima/Animus, Complexes, Dreams, the Archetype and Archetypal Image, the Personal and Objective Psyche; the 4 states of the Conscious and Unconscious as well as the various Mental Conditions that are arranged within a specific ordered context and operate within a very precise inter-related field of Psychological address.

And unless I am misunderstanding you if you are leaving all of that out then you are completely disregarding Jung's whole cosmology; thereby in turn one of the major influences in the field of "Analytical Psychology". So perhaps you would care to explain this. (Yes; I read your posts!) But by not including the above I'm just having trouble understanding what you mean by this "new world order of consciousness" you seem to be proposing or interpreting from "Jung's" idea. (I would also like to point out that the difficulty of your disagreement with Jung's view of "conflict between opposites"; and the tension that it creates lies at the very core of the "Transcendent Function" that serves as the centerpiece dynamic which itself "is" the vehicle for the transformation of consciousness within the actual Individuation Process.) Yes Joseph Campbell saw a future horizon with new possibilities in the distance; but he also was very well aware of both Eastern and Western viewpoints; (which included science I might add); and was heavily influenced by Jung's ideas. You certainly have a right to whatever interpretation of consciousness or spirituality you wish. But since Cindy is not here to state, define, or defend her views on these particular thoughts and she created both of these Jungian and Consciousness threads it would seem to me that might be another thought to consider as well.



Ron:
So be it.

I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of silent Buddhas, those who do not speak and those who are not heard.

The first type comes from the will of the self and the second from the will of the Self.

(Yes Ron; these forums serve the idea that everyone has a right to think as they wish. But I did not seek to minimize your expression of ideas. If my disagreement with your views offended you that certainly was not my intention; and I tried to take efforts not to do so within my arguments. And if by bringing up Cindy's efforts to educate about Jungian background it was only to underscore in my view what you have not addressed. If you wish to address this fine; if not that is fine also. If that is the case then perhaps "agree to disagree" might be a better course to pursue concerning this.


Addendum. Looking over the original post it has been amended to correct it's tone.
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
JamesN.
Associate
Posts: 2187
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:46 am
Location: Nashville, Tn.

Post by JamesN. » Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:42 pm

A clarification needed.


Ever since this particular discussion started there has been a little voice that has been telling me something is not quite right here and this morning while going over some reference material I came across what might be causing some of the confusion here.

On pages 132-133 of Diane Osbon's: "Reflections on the Art of Living - A Joseph Campbell Companion" it specifically describes what Ron is talking about within Jung's 4 Functions of the (Psyche); and indeed it mentions a 5th function which deals with the "Transcendent Function".

(However):

There is also another group of functions called: "The 4 Functions of Myth" that Joseph Campbell also refered to quite regularly that have to do with a psychological aspect of human perception which to me seem more in line with what Ron is referring to within his ideas that he has just stated. In "Pathways to Bliss" on pages 104-108: The Function of Mythology In Tradition And Today" it can be seen how these points line up; especially within the (Metaphysical, Cosmological, Sociological, and Pedagogical) aspects.

If this is indeed the classification under which Ron's ideas fall I see absolutely no disagreement at all within our points of view. This would also explain why the dots; so to speak; did not connect within our respective views.

Throughout Joseph's work; (print and video); I have come across numerous references to these 2 different sets and it would be easy to see how they might be confused if not properly identified; (hard to footnote in a video). I first came across them in "The Power of Myth" and "The Hero's Journey" as well as the other 2 books I have just mentioned.

A brief description under: "Functions of Myth" can be found within this Wikipedia link as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell

(This the best I can do at the moment since I am at work if you want to look them up to see if this lines up with the present discussion.)


So some clarity on which set we are talking about here would certainly be most helpful. :idea:
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
Roncooper
Associate
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:51 pm
Location: Eastern Tennessee

Post by Roncooper » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:15 pm

James,

Thank you for the kind comments. I guess what I am trying to do is to expand the work of Jung and Campbell beyond the realm of psychology.

It seems obvious to me that one's inner life is reflected in their outer life. Jung did all of this work describing the psyche, but it does much more. It is also useful for integrating the complexity we find in society.

But this works both ways. When we begin to use his classifications and look at people, we see emotional people, intellectuals, sensual artists, and intuitive individuals. The problem I have is that these four do not encompass about 30% of the population, which are willful competitors. In my opinion Jung left this group out because in the 1920s the definition of a man included being strong willed and so willfulness was a given. However after the social changes of the 1960s and 1970s, willfulness became one of the options for a man. It took its rightful place as one of the functions and ceased to be a given.

I personally think that checking Jung's work in this way is a valid technique for getting insights. I want to expand his influence to the whole world, but this can't be done if 30% of the people don't fit into his system.

This is really a minor tweak in a great body of work.

I also understand his definition of the transcendent function, which is the thesis, antithesis, synthesis paradigm. Conflict leads to synthesis. I just wish he hadn't used the word transcendent. It seems to me he meant it in terms of transcending conflict, which is not the same as transcending materialism.

I see Jung and Campbell's work as a springboard to the new, much needed mythology, and I find that exciting. I guess the problem is that I'm not very interested in psychology.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
Andreas
Associate
Posts: 2274
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:07 am

Post by Andreas » Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:04 pm

So what is consciousness according to your own definition, Ron. Honest question by the way, just curious. :)
“To live is enough.” ― Shunryu Suzuki
JamesN.
Associate
Posts: 2187
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:46 am
Location: Nashville, Tn.

Post by JamesN. » Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:49 pm

Roncooper wrote:James,

Thank you for the kind comments. I guess what I am trying to do is to expand the work of Jung and Campbell beyond the realm of psychology.

It seems obvious to me that one's inner life is reflected in their outer life. Jung did all of this work describing the psyche, but it does much more. It is also useful for integrating the complexity we find in society.

But this works both ways. When we begin to use his classifications and look at people, we see emotional people, intellectuals, sensual artists, and intuitive individuals. The problem I have is that these four do not encompass about 30% of the population, which are willful competitors. In my opinion Jung left this group out because in the 1920s the definition of a man included being strong willed and so willfulness was a given. However after the social changes of the 1960s and 1970s, willfulness became one of the options for a man. It took its rightful place as one of the functions and ceased to be a given.

I personally think that checking Jung's work in this way is a valid technique for getting insights. I want to expand his influence to the whole world, but this can't be done if 30% of the people don't fit into his system.

This is really a minor tweak in a great body of work.

I also understand his definition of the transcendent function, which is the thesis, antithesis, synthesis paradigm. Conflict leads to synthesis. I just wish he hadn't used the word transcendent. It seems to me he meant it in terms of transcending conflict, which is not the same as transcending materialism.

I see Jung and Campbell's work as a springboard to the new, much needed mythology, and I find that exciting. I guess the problem is that I'm not very interested in psychology.

Ron; thanks for the very considerate and thoughtful reply; it was much appreciated. I really liked your thoughts on this. For myself I find as I get older I have to double check to make sure I'm on board with everything. (I hate getting older because it's like trying to get ready for where you already are.) The thing is many of these themes involving "Individuation" are exactly about assimilating this kind of experience. At any rate Joseph said once life is like coming into a movie late and trying to figure out the plot before it ends; or something like that. Heck I'm already there; but a sense of humor helps. Seriously though I think we are living in a time where we have make up things as we go along concerning many of the assumptions that use to be taken for granted concerning older societal norms. Joseph mentioned things are changing so fast that the idea of a new mythology might be more in line with this type of template as a model. Your kind of individual approach may be closer than you think. At least that's kind of the sense of it I'm getting.

BTW; now that we're talking about this I came across this thread of yours and I remember it seemed to be concerned with exactly this type of subject matter. (Has this been on the back burner waiting for the muse to strike? :idea:

http://www.jcf.org/new/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5429

(I always thought it was a great idea; you know.)


Anyway I notice "The Café" thread has been dormant for awhile and was thinking of dropping by later; I'll save you a seat.

http://www.jcf.org/new/forum/viewtopic. ... 0&start=75


Cheers :wink:



( Ron I really must apologize for I'm at work at the moment and can't really post much. I'll have to get back with you later on some of the rest of this. )
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
Roncooper
Associate
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:51 pm
Location: Eastern Tennessee

Post by Roncooper » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:04 am

Andreas wrote.
So what is consciousness according to your own definition, Ron. Honest question by the way, just curious. Smile
You caught me off guard. I am not used to people actually asking for my opinion. I know I don't hesitate giving it without asking.

Anyway, consciousness.

I take my lead from the Indian subcontinent where wise individuals have been studying it for over 2,000 years.

Consciousness is a pure form of intuition. It is observation without thought, emotion, sensation, or intention. Most experiences are a combination of consciousness and one of these other qualities, but it also exists without them.

Individuals who practice the experience of consciousness without these other qualities find the experience beneficial. It brings either peace,happiness, or bliss.

These wise individuals say that consciousness is like water. It takes the form of vessel it fills, and is not held in a broken vessel. In this sense it is a perspective or point of view.

It is the audience for the play of life.

These are some thoughts on consciousness.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
Andreas
Associate
Posts: 2274
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:07 am

Post by Andreas » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:36 am

You caught me off guard. I am not used to people actually asking for my opinion. - Ron
I know I should do that more often Ron. :)

Well, cool, thanks for the reply.
“To live is enough.” ― Shunryu Suzuki
User avatar
romansh
Associate
Posts: 2277
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:25 am
Location: In the woods, BC, near US border
Contact:

Post by romansh » Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:53 pm

Roncooper wrote: Individuals who practice the experience of consciousness without these other qualities find the experience beneficial. It brings either peace,happiness, or bliss.
Susan Blackmore practices something similar. And hence comes to the conclusion that free will and consciousness are not what they seem.

Ten Zen Questions ... you may enjoy the read.
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
JamesN.
Associate
Posts: 2187
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:46 am
Location: Nashville, Tn.

Post by JamesN. » Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:56 pm

Ron; sorry it took so long to get back to you.My apologies for my jumbled attempt to answer your earlier thoughtful post. (I had less than 4hrs.sleep from answering your previous post the night before and was at work trying to multi-task at the same time. (Lesson to myself: "Not a good idea". lol) After resting and going back over this material again and referencing the Jungian Lexicon I gathered a few quotes that Joseph Campbell has mentioned in the past concerning his work as one of the world's foremost "Mythologists". And here is what I am respectfully offering to consider as you pursue your new quest.

( Taken from Michael Toms recordings of interviews and the book: " An Open Life ". ):

Joseph Campbell:
Quote:

" You know for some people " Jungian " is a nasty word. and it has been flung at me by certain reviewers as though to say, " Don't bother with Joe Campbell; he is a Jungian. " I'm not a Jungian! As far as interpreting myths, Jung gives me the best clues I've got. But I'm much more interested in diffusion and relationships historically than Jung was, so that the Jungians think of me as a kind of questionable person. I don't use those formula words very often in my interpretation of myths, but Jung gives me the background from which to let the myth talk to me.

If I do have a guru of that sort, it would be Zimmer - the one who really gave me the courage to interpret the myths out of what I knew of their common symbols. There's always a risk there, but it's the risk of your own personal adventure instead of just gluing yourself to what someone else has found. "


(Taken from the "Exploring Your Personal Mythology" forum heading):
Joseph Campbell believed that "within the field of a secular society, which is a sort of neutral frame that allows individuals to develop their own lives, so long as they don't annoy their neighbors too much, each of us has an individual myth that's driving us, which we may or may not know." (From: Pathways to Bliss).


(Taken from the Joseph Campbell favorites thread):
"A mythological order is a system of images that gives consciousness a sense of meaning in existence, which, my dear friend, has no meaning––it simply is. But the mind goes asking for meanings; it can't play unless it knows (or makes up) the rules.

"Mythologies present games to play: how to make believe you're doing thus and so. Ultimately, through the game, you experience that positive thing which is the experience of being-in-being, of living meaningfully. That's the first function of a mythology, to evoke in the individual a sense of grateful affirmative awe before the monstrous mystery that is existence."

Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss, p. 6
(And):
So then, what are we really questing for? And here is the answer: It is the fullfillment of what is potential in ourselves, our true selves. It is not an ego trip. You are not your ego. You experience your ego. You are not your thoughts. You experience your thoughts. You are not your feelings. You experience your feelings. And you are not your body. You behold your body. This recognition awakens a heritage within us that exists before all these mythologies, religions and belief systems came into being and into our traditions. It's an awakening of our own pre-ego, pre-Hindu, pre-Jewish, pre-Buddhist, pre-Muslim, pre-Christian hearts.


Joseph Campbell
The Eastern Way: Oriental Mythology (Joseph Campbell Audio Collection I.3.1)


From your last post referring to what I'm understanding as your new mythological direction concerning among other areas of address; "An Eastern Approach to Consciousness":

Ron:
Thank you for the kind comments. I guess what I am trying to do is to expand the work of Jung and Campbell beyond the realm of psychology.
(And):
I see Jung and Campbell's work as a springboard to the new, much needed mythology, and I find that exciting. I guess the problem is that I'm not very interested in psychology.

(I realize we have previously covered the "Transcendent Function" in the "Jung in the Weeds" thread but for those reading this who are unfamiliar with this term here is the definition from the Lexicon. I will add this as a separate sidebar since it has already been addressed. ):


Ron:
I also understand his definition of the transcendent function, which is the thesis, antithesis, synthesis paradigm. Conflict leads to synthesis. I just wish he hadn't used the word transcendent. It seems to me he meant it in terms of transcending conflict, which is not the same as transcending materialism.

Transcendent function. A psychic function that arises from the tension between consciousness and the unconscious and supports their union. (See also opposites and tertium non datur.)
When there is full parity of the opposites, attested by the ego's absolute participation in both, this necessarily leads to a suspension of the will, for the will can no longer operate when every motive has an equally strong countermotive. Since life cannot tolerate a standstill, a damming up of vital energy results, and this would lead to an insupportable condition did not the tension of opposites produce a new, uniting function that transcends them. This function arises quite naturally from the regression of libido caused by the blockage.[Ibid., par. 824.]
The tendencies of the conscious and the unconscious are the two factors that together make up the transcendent function. It is called "transcendent" because it makes the transition from one attitude to another organically possible.[The Transcendent Function," CW 8, par. 145.]
In a conflict situation, or a state of depression for which there is no apparent reason, the development of the transcendent function depends on becoming aware of unconscious material. This is most readily available in dreams, but because they are so difficult to understand Jung considered the method of active imagination-giving "form" to dreams, fantasies, etc.--to be more useful.
Once the unconscious content has been given form and the meaning of the formulation is understood, the question arises as to how the ego will relate to this position, and how the ego and the unconscious are to come to terms. This is the second and more important stage of the procedure, the bringing together of opposites for the production of a third: the transcendent function. At this stage it is no longer the unconscious that takes the lead, but the ego.[Ibid., par. 181.]
This process requires an ego that can maintain its standpoint in face of the counterposition of the unconscious. Both are of equal value. The confrontation between the two generates a tension charged with energy and creates a living, third essence.
From the activity of the unconscious there now emerges a new content, constellated by thesis and antithesis in equal measure and standing in a compensatory relation to both. It thus forms the middle ground on which the opposites can be united. If, for instance, we conceive the opposition to be sensuality versus spirituality, then the mediatory content born out of the unconscious provides a welcome means of expression for the spiritual thesis, because of its rich spiritual associations, and also for the sensual antithesis, because of its sensuous imagery. The ego, however, torn between thesis and antithesis, finds in the middle ground its own counterpart, its sole and unique means of expression, and it eagerly seizes on this in order to be delivered from its division.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 825.]
The transcendent function is essentially an aspect of the self-regulation of the psyche. It typically manifests symbolically and is experienced as a new attitude toward oneself and life.
If the mediatory product remains intact, it forms the raw material for a process not of dissolution but of construction, in which thesis and antithesis both play their part. In this way it becomes a new content that governs the whole attitude, putting an end to the division and forcing the energy of the opposites into a common channel. The standstill is overcome and life can flow on with renewed power towards new goals.[Ibid., par. 827.]


______________________________________________________________________



Okay so up to this point I think we have pretty well established at least part of the direction you are trying to go with this; (that is as I'm understanding it so far). However; that said I think you are going to run into a problem that is going to be very difficult to separate
with not including this dimension of the psychological interplay between the different Jungian components: (that means "all" of them); not just one or two; (and yes; concerning consciousness). We realize that in the West the mindset is oriented from a more "Dualistic" point-of-view which is not the same as Eastern. And also I believe you are approaching your perspective from a more Eastern viewpoint concerning "Consciousness". But even though we may differ on this IMHO this was what Joseph Campbell was trying to address that by definition because of the very nature of what this aspect of consciousness and the mind are represented and interpreted by; whether by way of ancient eastern or more modern western; the mental mechanics of perception and the mind are similarly constructed "psychologically speaking"; and proceed towards a common ground of purpose.


I said:
The Self, the Ego, the Persona, the Shadow, the Anima/Animus, Complexes, Dreams, the Archetype and Archetypal Image, the Personal and Objective Psyche; the 4 states of the Conscious and Unconscious; as well as the various Mental Conditions that are also arranged within this specific ordered context and operate within a very precise inter-related field of Psychological address.

Furthermore the context of this dynamic interplay between each and every one of them matters a great deal. For instance understanding what the definition of The Self is and the relationship of The Self to the Ego; The Ego to The Shadow and also the Anima/Animus; what the definition of Archetype is in relation to an Archetypal Image; the difference between the Personal and Objective Psyche; the four classifications of the states of the unconscious and conscious including the "Collective Unconscious"; as well as the role that "Emotion" plays as conduit within this context. (That's just to name "some" of these aspects; there are of course others as well). And the role that Individuation plays as the natural propensity of the Psyche that seeks it's expression from within the deepest part of itself in it's journey of self-regulation towards healing and wholeness. (Interpretation mine.)

It is my understanding that Joseph emphasizes them from the "mythological" perspective; and he offers them as a springboard to "connect-the-dots" between the various cultural interpretive points-of-view; western/eastern; spiritual/religious; as well as medical/scientific - or secular; etc. Something to also keep in mind I might suggest is what he states about the fast changing global societal landscape he mentions concerning the formation of any new mythology to come. That being that the older cultural orders have disintegrated and no longer serve the functions or purpose for which they were originally intended; or in other words it is the "individual interpretation" drawn from many sources that forms the basis of this new template to come. Like the archetypal symbol of the "MonoMyth" or "Hero's Journey"; we are to seek the Call of the Adventure to become the "Hero's of our own lives. (Perhaps like the one you are now engaged with; no?) And as an example like the ancient symbol of the "Gryphon" which is an assemblage of various parts Joseph once used; to slay one's own psychological "Dragons". But in the end it is my understanding here that his emphasis is on finding one's own "Personal Myth" through the Fire, Alchemy, or "Dark Forrest" of one's own personal experience as this new template by drawing from "all" of these other forms from the past.


So in trying to add some additional clarity; (yes, I read through your posts); and except for the psychological aspect it doesn't seem to me like we are really in disagreement here. We can certainly agree to disagree if you feel otherwise; but overall I think your initial approach seems like a very creative one. But unless there is something I'm not seeing or interpreting correctly concerning these Jungian ideas within this paradigm; it is my understanding what Joseph's message here is saying regarding an "Eastern verses Western" synthesis is: ("combined with; not separate from").




Namaste :)
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
Locked